Will Bloomberg get “Schultz’d”?
Having earlier this year said he would not run for president, and following his registration for the Alabama primary, billionaire Mike Bloomberg has just “made it official” by filing the paperwork with FEC to register as a presidential candidate as a Democrat.
As we detailed previously, the NYT warned that , “a Bloomberg campaign could represent a seismic disruption in the Democratic race.” With his immense personal wealth, centrist views and close ties to the political establishment, he would present a grave and instantaneous threat to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who has been struggling to raise money and assemble a ideologically moderate coalition.
But Mr. Bloomberg could also reshape the race in other ways, intensifying the Democrats’ existing debates about economic inequality and corporate power, and offering fodder to the party’s rising populist wing, led by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who contend that the extremely rich already wield far too much influence in politics. Mr. Bloomberg has repeatedly expressed discomfort with certain policies favored by both Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders.
Howard Wolfson, a close adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, said that the former mayor viewed President Trump as an “unprecedented threat to our nation,” and noted Mr. Bloomberg’s heavy spending in the 2018 midterm elections and this week’s off-year races in Virginia. Mr. Bloomberg, he said, has grown uneasy about the existing trajectory of the Democratic primary.
“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Mr. Wolfson said.
“If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist.“
A former Republican who repeatedly explored running for president as an independent, Bloomberg registered as a Democrat ahead of the midterm elections last year. In his past flirtations with the presidency, Bloomberg has never before taken this step… and his odds are rising (albeit still low)…